DARWEN, England (Reuters) – A large crowd of well-wishers braved a downpour innorthern England on Monday to cheer Prince William and Kate Middleton as they took part in their final official engagement before their wedding.
The trip was expected to be one of the last occasions that William, second in line to the British throne, and Middleton were seen in public before April 29th when they marry at London’s Westminster Abbey.
Heavy rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of onlookers as Middleton, wearing a navy-colored jacket and skirt, and William arrived smiling at Darwen Aldridge Community Academyschool in northwest England.
The couple were due to officially open the school and launch the “SkillForce Prince’s Award,” an honor to reward young people who contribute to their local community.
Later they were to visit a local country park as part of an initiative to protect more than 2,000 outdoor areas across Britain and encourage recreational activities.
As well as watching a number of sporting displays, William was due to meet youngsters taking part in a soccer skills program involving Premiership side Blackburn Rovers.
Monday’s visit completed the couple’s brief tour of the United Kingdom. They have already visited Wales, where William is based as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, the university in Scotland where they met, and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile Prime Minister David Cameron has urged Britons to follow his lead and hold a street party to celebrate the wedding.
Cameron, who is holding a party in Downing Street with his wife Samantha, warned councils not to allow “petty bureaucracy” to prevent those planning such celebrations.
“It’s a special day for everyone in Britain,” Cameron wrote in the Sun newspaper. “It’s a chance for all of us to come together and celebrate the great things about our country.”
(Writing by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato)
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